JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Brooke Army Medical Center commemorated Women's Equality Day at the medical center Aug 30.

The event highlighted the 19th Amendment, women's right to vote (ratified in August 26, 1920) and how far women have progressed since the suffrage movement in 1848.

"Thank you ladies for helping us shape the political landscape in the United States now for nearly 100 years," BAMC Commander Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Johnson said in his opening remarks.

A lot has changed since 1920; there are women leaders in all facets of our nation, business, sports, government and military. The passage of the 19th Amendment was the first of many steps in women's equality. Thanks to the courage and tenacity of the women and men who challenged the nation to live up to our founding principles, the commander noted.

"The military continues to make significant strides in the advancement of women. I am proud to say we have great women leaders throughout the Army and Brooke Army Medical Center including our guest speaker today, our Deputy Commanding Officer Col. Traci Crawford," said Johnson.

Crawford took the stage and expressed the importance of not only recognizing the accomplishment of past and present trailblazers but also defining what 'Equality' means to her.

"For me, equality means treating everyone with fairness and respect, and recognizing the needs of individuals, said Crawford. "We know that equality has been achieved when all of us enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities, and protections. Ultimately equality is creating an environment where both my son and daughter have a chance to develop to their full potential and realize their dreams can be achieved."

She also emphasized that equality is more than sharing the right to vote and that women at every level of society are leaders at the forefront of progress -- surpassing physical limitations, challenging aviation records, blasting into space, serving as judges and members of Congress, setting world records in sports, becoming founders of world leading companies, and fighting on the front lines of combat.

"Women's Equality Day is a day to celebrate how far we've come, but even more, it's a day to inspire one another to continue the fight for equality for all," Crawford said. "Great social change comes about when courageous people, both men and women, refuse to back down because they know what is right. For past, present, and future generations, we must keep building on the foundation for a more equal tomorrow."

In closing, BAMC Command Sgt. Maj. Diamond Hough congratulated the monumental event in history but also noted there is still work to be done.

"We as a nation have come a long way but more needs to be done here at home and in support of other nations whose values are not the same as ours," he said. "The struggles of young women like Malala Yousafzai [Pakistani activist for female education and human rights advocacy] serve a reminder that there is still work to done and we all have the power to influence the world around us. Remember, everyone deserves to be treated justly and respectfully."